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Old 06-16-2011, 09:49 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Greenwood , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
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New Water Heater A,B,C OR D

Going to put a new water heater in my 76 A/S. New frame, new floor, new water heater, etc. Looked around, too many options. Want eletric start, 10 gallon, to fill the hole. Still trying to decide on gas/electric or gas only. Original still works and does not leak fresh water, however it does leak rain water where the bottom is rusted out .What brand/model is the most reliable and easy to service?
Thanks in advance,

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Old 06-16-2011, 09:54 AM   #2
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,020
Atwood and Suburban both make good water heaters.

If you have electric capacity available and are able to run the wires without much fuss then the electric is worthwhile. It will save you some hassle and expense of buying propane and is quieter at night. It does need its own breaker and if you have only 30a service you probably can't run it at the same time as the air conditioner, because combined with the converter and the fridge you'll trip the campground breaker some of the time.

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Old 06-16-2011, 10:24 AM   #3
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1979 31' Sovereign
Milford , Ohio
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As expensive as water heaters are, I'd see if I could patch the hole first. Maybe some aluminum flashing glued into place with roofing cement?

I replaced my water heater maybe five years ago with an Atwood 6 gallon, gas only with pilot ignition. A larger heater would not have fit in the space, routing AC power would have been a lot of work, and while I considered electronic ignition I had no easy source to tie into DC either.

A few tricks I'll share is that I salvaged the exterior door and flue grille from my original Bowen water heater and installed them on the Atwood for an original look. I also installed bypass valves on the back and cut an access door to reach them from the bedroom.

I connected to my water lines with some long braided hoses like what you'd hook up a sink with. That way I could pressure test the system before the heater was actually installed in the trailer and just sitting outside on a stool. Although that worked well for my purposes, those hoses are a pressure drop now and hot water flows a bit slower than cold.

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Old 06-20-2011, 04:18 PM   #4
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1976 31' Sovereign
Greenwood , South Carolina
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I could re-install the old one, but I would hate for it to leak on my new floor due to age. It is 35 years old, and could go at any time.
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